COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Capitalizing on two Maryland errors that allowed three runs to score, the George Mason baseball team took a 3-2 win over the Terrapins on Tuesday afternoon at Shipley Field.
Mason evened its overall record at 12-12 and picked up its third-consecutive win over the Terps dating back to a season sweep a year ago. Mark Maksimow earned his second win of the season in relief, and Sean Cabrera picked up his second save. Maryland dropped to 14-10 overall.
The game was scoreless through the first four innings, despite the Patriots loading the bases in the first and Maryland putting runners in scoring position in both the second and third innings.
It was Mason who struck first in the top of the fifth inning. With two outs, Brandon Gum reached base after laying a bunt down the third base side. Tommy Vitaletti then stepped to the plate and singled to left and Maryland’s Wade LaMonte let the ball slip under his glove, allowing Vitaletti to advance all the way to third and Gum to score to put the Patriots ahead, 1-0.
Maryland answered in the sixth as K. J. Hockaday bunted his way on base and DH Tim Kiene brought him home on a hit-and-run double delivered through the left side, tying the game at 1-1.
The score remained tied heading into the ninth inning, and again the Patriots took advantage of a costly Maryland error to grab the lead. Facing new pitcher Kevin Mooney, Patrick Esposito led off the inning with a single to left and was replaced on the bases by pinch runner Andrew Sable. Josh Leemhuis sac bunted to move Sable into scoring position and Derek Evans walked to put two runners on. Gum flied out to leave two runners on with two outs, and Vitaletti looked like he was going to end the inning with a fly ball to right, but Maryland’s Anthony Papio dropped the ball, allowing Vitaletti to reach safely and score both Sable and Evans for a 3-1 Mason lead.
Maryland rallied in the home half of the ninth, as Cabrera took to the mound for the Patriots and gave up a leadoff infield single to Terps pinch hitter Michael Montville. He was caught out as Charlie White grounded into a fielder’s choice and after a pop out, Kyle Convissar just missed a game-tying home run to deep left, but it still allowed White to score and pull the Terps to within a run, 3-2. However, Cabrera got Hockaday to pop up to end the game and pick up his second save of the season.
Michael Bowie got the start for the Patriots and had a strong showing, scattering seven hits and allowing one run with two walks and three strikeouts of 5.1 innings of work. Neight Hoffa closed out the sixth inning, retiring both batters face. Maksimow threw two scoreless innings and struck out one to pick up his second win of the season, while Cabrera allowed two hits and a run to score in the ninth.
Vitaletti continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-5 at the plate, and Gum finished the day 2-for-4.
Maryland starter Alex Robinson went 6.0 innings, giving up five hits with six strikeouts. Bobby Ruse threw two innings of relief, and Mooney took the loss after working the ninth.
Mason returns to conference action this weekend, traveling to Long Island to face Hofstra.